With a pretty full defense corps in Washington this season, Dmitry Orlov will likely be spending most of his time in Hershey. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his sights set on playing for the Capitals. In the meantime, we get to spend the season watching another young defenseman develop and mature into an NHL-caliber star.
“Even if I go back to Hershey, I would really like to try myself in Washington this year and I am going to do everything I can to achieve that,” he said to Russian Machine Never Breaks during this year’s Caps Development Camp. He also spoke in the interview about his attempts to overcome the language barrier this season through the use of Rosetta Stone, a language-learning software.
His hard work did not go unnoticed by Bruce Boudreau, who noted Orlov’s improved fitness and dedication during camp. His hard hitting caused a bit of a stir during the first scrimmage of this summer’s development camp when he injured the knee of fellow prospect, Taylor Stefishen.
Last season, in the nineteen regular season games he played, Orlov scored two goals and tallied seven assists. But most of his impressive qualities lie outside of his offensive play. At only 19 years of age, he showed more defensive stability than players with many more years of experience. Frequently paired with NHL veteran, Sheldon Souray, Orlov proved that he was comfortable and capable of elevating his game to match his partner.
Our friends at RMNB also translated a recent interview Orlov had with Sports.ru. In the article, he shows no fear over playing in North America and seems to have set high goals for himself this season. Back in March, Orlov signed a three-year contract with the Capitals and fans and coaches alike are eager to see him complete his first full season in North America. “I will be proving that I deserve to play in the NHL,” he told Sports.ru. “I didn’t sign a three-year contract for nothing. I don’t give up. I will fight for it.”
Some fans believe that Orlov will be in Washington as the seventh defenseman. Others think he would benefit from some more time in the AHL. But we know one thing: if he’s in Hershey this season, fans can expect more nice plays and hard hits from the now 20-year-old Russian cannonball and maybe even keep a lookout for a couple call-ups to Washington.